Because pregnancy often leads to … infants

04Feb08

I recently saw Juno, that movie with Ellen Page, Michael Cera, and Jason Bateman, to name a few. If you haven’t seen it yet, my God, see it if it’s still playing locally. I currently reside in a little shithole of a town cut off from the rest of humanity, so the only movie theater around here is pretty ancient and gets movies kind of late. They also show really weird pre-movie commercial stuff. You know, what the theater puts on while you wait for the movie previews to start. For some odd reason they show pictures of space provided by, well, NASA and the Hubble telescope. Don’t ask me.

Anyway, it’s hilarious. The film’s directed by Jason Reitman and was written by Diablo Cody. Ellen Page makes the film what it is, and the musical score couldn’t be more perfect for the movie, with songs by the Kinks, Kimya Dawson, Sonic Youth, Antsy Pants, and even a track sung by Ellen Page and Michael Cera that’s priceless. The lyrics make you laugh in parts of the movie where you probably shouldn’t be laughing, but it doesn’t ruin the moment. In fact, the music adds a lot to movie, which is a good thing, considering music can make or break a film. The lyrics are quirky and seem to match the characters’ personalities, especially Juno’s, and the mood of the movie flawlessly.

The movie’s light-hearted throughout until the climax near the end of the film, which makes it even more powerful. I’ve always noticed that tv and movies are particularly effective in moving from funny and easy-going to serious and tense when a scene focuses on the former so well that you’re so completely wrapped in it and don’t notice that dramatic axe until it falls two inches from your face. Sometimes it lands on your foot. Juno does this, and the effect is overwhelmingly moving.

Juno’s a lot of things rolled into one. And even though it is a movie that follows a sixteen-year-old girl through the duration of an unplanned pregnancy, there’s nothing average about the girl or the film. There’s a surprising maturity yet cheerful immaturity to the movie that brings out its best.

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